Swamp Rabbits Search for New Head Coach
Greenville, SC - The Greenville Swamp Rabbits announced today that the club and Head Coach Brian Gratz have parted ways after three seasons. The move ends Gratz tenure with the club after holding positions in Greenville for the last four seasons. The organization is actively searching for a new Head Coach for the upcoming 2018-19 season.
Gratz, 36, has been behind the bench with the Swamp Rabbits since Sept. 30, 2014. The Fort Wayne, Indiana native joined the club ahead the 2014-15 season as an Assistant Coach and was named Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations on July 7, 2015. He is one of just two head coaches in the Swamp Rabbits eight-year history. In three seasons, Gratz has compiled a 93-99-21-3 record and qualified for the 2017 Kelly Cup Playoffs. The club's second place finish in the South Division during the 2016-17 season erased a three-year drought from the post season.
"This was a hard decision for us to make. On behalf of all the owners, I can't thank Brian enough for his commitment to the organization," said Swamp Rabbits President and CEO Steve Donner. "It has been a pleasure to work with Brian, who has been a true professional in every way. I'm sure he will have a long, successful coaching career in the future. He has been a positive influence on this program and has brought the city of Greenville some exceptional players in his time with the club. We wish him and his family nothing but the best."
Gratz has held head coaching positions for eight of his 11 seasons behind the bench. Since turning to coaching, he guided the Swamp Rabbits, Bloomington Blaze, Dayton Gems, Jersey Rockhoppers, and Indiana Ice Miners. Gratz's work also featured stops with the Reading Royals and Penn State University. The retired goaltender has worked over 500 games as a head coach since 2007.
"We felt it was the appropriate time to make a change," Donner continued. "Headed into the first full year of our ownership, we will continue to evaluate our organization and build Greenville into an annual contender in the ECHL."
The Swamp Rabbits have begun the search for a new head coach. Assistant Coach Troy Schwab will fill in as Interim Director of Hockey Operations until the organization has hired its next head coach.
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